CCP Issues Solidarity Statement with Black Lives Matter
Youth Passageways’ Cross Cultural Protocols Working Group proclaims its solidarity with the Black Lives Matter Movement. We stand in solidarity with their goals to end the extra- judicial murder of African Americans, particularly youth, and their insistence that police be subject to the same legal strictures that they are sworn to uphold in American society. We support the movement’s calls for police accountability, and for making transparent this and other practices and structures of institutional racism that continue to take black lives, maim black communities and stifle our collective evolution as human beings.
As identified by as identified by sustainability visionary Paul Hawken there is a vast wave of courageous and healing energy rising up all over the Earth to challenge toxic and inequitable systems that smother human potential and destroy our life support systems. Both BLM and YPW are carried by this movement.
Our particular current in this wave of healing is to reawaken and restore the age-old, cross-generational practices of life transition and initiation ceremonies, particularly for our youth. As such YPW takes an active stance in countering what Paul Hill Jr calls the “socially toxic environments” that threaten our youth: black, brown, red, yellow, white, and for all those for whom these colors are inadequate descriptions.
Their calls to abolish systems such as the school to prison track and the prison industrial complex and to strengthen community oversight of policing, are part of our movement of creating safe, sovereign and inspired communities. As mentors, guides, healers, educators and youth workers many of us are on the ground working with young people in the most intractable and difficult situations that face us at this time. We are well aware of the connections between the dearth of healthy initiation, the criminalization of youth, particularly youth of color, and the blurring lines between police and military.
After discussions among the leadership of Youth Passageways about where we as an organization stand politically and how we wanted to show up in relation to the maxim: “act as if the youth you serve were in the room” we felt it was irresponsible to not engage in the larger discussion. Please consider the following.
As proponents of ROP’s our movement is inherently (not necessary by traditional means and measures) political. That is we are laboring to bring to maturity generations of healers, visionaries , and warriors who will fundamentally challenge/transform and renew the life-ways and social structures of the status quo, re-imagining what we value, how we make decisions and distribute/circulate power. Second there are some practices that we as a network (and a movement) we might learn from BLM, such as their modeling and integration intersectional concerns (those of queer and trans-folk for example), their capacity to work through and learn from intergenerational struggle and conflict and their aspiration toward black villages- black communities that transcend the nuclear family, drawing on webs of support, affinity and mentorship.
We encourage the members of our network to look into this movement, learn from it, and most of all to stay awake to the struggles and spirit of our times. Consider how our work with the rising generations, with families and communities, might contribute to the ending of large scale racial and other types of injustice. And then Act in the direction of justice. Action looks like finding a chapter and getting involved. It looks like learning from guiding principles so our movement can be strong and united. It means finding a local or national event and by going and organizing others to go to the events and actions. Power is in numbers.
We honor and mourn
Trayvon Martin, Tamir Rice,
Ezell Ford, Rekia Boyd,
Tyre King, Alesia Thomas,
and so many others.
Our hearts go out to all the families whose children, fathers and mothers’ lives were cut short by the actions of the police. We support them in the ways that we are capable of seeking justice for them and their children and structural change so that other black families are spared the workings of institutional racism.
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In solidarity, in respect, in shared struggle for another, possible world.
Youth Passageways’ Cross Cultural Protocols Working Group